Thursday, June 23, 2011

When life meets the shuffle setting...

I never know what music I have...until there's some long paper or project I have to work on. These are the days the shuffle setting on my iPod reminds me of my musical tastes. So, I decided to write some of the songs down in the order they played:

Curtis Mayfield - "Power to the People"
Gladys Knight and the Pips - "Just Walk In My Shoes"
Jill Scott - "One Is The Magic #"
Amy Winehouse - "You Know I'm No Good"
Whitney Houston - "Queen of the Night"
The O'Jays - "I Wanna Be With You Tonight"
Lenny Kravitz - "I'll Be Waiting"
Musiq Soulchild - "So Beautiful"
Natasha Bedingfield - "Happy"
Lena Horne - "Stormy Weather"
Bilal - "Fast Lane"
Duke Ellington - "Blue Pepper (Far East of the Blues)"
Michael Jackson - "Break of Dawn"
Eminem - "Must Be The Ganja"
John Coltrane - "Lazy Bird"
Musiq Soulchild - "momentinlife"
Stevie Wonder - "Sweetest Somebody I Know"
Faith Evans - "Change"
Corinne Bailey Rae - "Closer"
Usher - "Take Your Hand"
Bilal - "The Dollar"
'Nsync - "Gone"
Edgar Winter - "Keep Playin' That Rock 'N' Roll"
Gyorgy Ligeti - "Lux Aterna"
Tammy Montgomery - "If I Would Marry You"
Alicia Keys - "How It Feels To Fly"
JoJo - "Use My Shoulder"
Tye Tribbett - "My Joy"
The Beattles - "Mean Mr. Mustard"
Day 26 - "Don't Fight the Feeling"
Bilal - "Love Poems"
Stevie Wonder - "Shelter in the Rain"
Sean Jones - "John 3:16"
Mario - "Why"
Mariah Carey - "Just To Hold You Once Again"
Amy Winehouse - "Love Is A Losing Game"
Five for Fighting - "Out of Love"
Victor Wooten - "Kids"
Selena - "No Me Queda Mas"
Talib Kweli - "Take It Back"
Sara Bareilles - "Blue Bird"
John Legend - "Floating Away"

What does this say about me? Soul Sista? lol I have no idea. :-)

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

"Don't be a prisoner to an old system which is crumbling before your eyes..." ~ Geoff Talbot

Geoff Talbot and I share something in common; we both love the creative process.  I started doing this blog thing to force myself to find myself again (if that makes any sense).  I'm interested in quite a few things, but I had created a habit over the years of losing track of those things that made me feel like me. I started with She called herself creative... just to get started and it led me to creating another blog, putting pen to paper. In his post today, Talbot introduces another very good reason for people like me to start blogging: the old system is crumbling. Artists are now in a position to create and manage their own images and art in a way they hadn't been able to before. Why not take advantage of the change occurring right before our eyes? Creative Blog Sentences

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

What kind of world do you want?

Good question. I love when I encounter songs that really make you think. Five For Fighting's single "World", from their 2006 release Two Lights, does just that. I have had this album for a while now, but encountered the song again while listening to the radio (something I don't normally do, but have been doing a lot lately, for some reason).  I arrived at my destination and had to look up the lyrics. I won't offer my interpretation here, but instead I would love to know your thoughts. Check it out:


Lyrics (from

Got a package full of Wishes
A Time machine, a Magic Wand
A Globe made out of Gold 

No Instructions or Commandments
Laws of Gravity or
Indecisions to uphold 

Printed on the box I see
A.C.M.E.'s Build-a-World-to-be
Take a chance - Grab a piece
Help me to believe it 

What kind of world do you want?
Think Anything
Let's start at the start
Build a masterpiece
Be careful what you wish for
History starts now... 

Should there be people or peoples
Money, Funny pedestals for Fools who never pay
Raise your Army - Choose your Steeple
Don't be shy, the satellites can look the other way 

Lose the Earthquakes - Keep the Faults
Fill the oceans without the salt
Let every Man own his own Hand
Can you dig it baby

What kind of world do you want
Think Anything
Let's start at the start
Build a masterpiece
Be careful what you wish for
History starts now... 

Sunlight's on the Bridge
Sunlight's on the Way
Tomorrow's Calling 

There's more to this than Love

What Kind of world do you want
What Kind of world do you want

What Kind of world do you want
Think Anything
Let's start at the start
Build a masterpiece

History Starts Now Starts Now

Be careful what you wish for
Start Now NOW

Monday, June 20, 2011

More Soul, More Passion, More Grit...I love it!

So, I've quietly (well maybe not quietly) hoped Beyonce would consider changing her approach to music. I think she's extremely talented and can function in whatever musical genre she chooses, but because she's so talented, she doesn't have to stay in the "pop" box. I think it's happening! Her song, "Party" is a HIT! lol The harmonies and vocal approach showcase and older, more mature Beyonce, but doesn't forsake those elements that make her the queen of mainstream. Check it out:

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Now I Get It! It's my right brain's fault!

Randomly I decided to do some reading about the brain. Of course there is a task I'm supposed to be tackling at the moment, but maybe this excursion is the result of my right brain dominance (it's really nice to have an I came across this video of Jill Bolte Taylor talking about her stroke and describing in pretty great detail her experience and the events leading up to the realization that she was actually having a stroke. I think it is interesting, so I'm choosing to share. Enjoy.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Art and Responsibility?

If you've been paying attention over the last few days (and I admit this issue had to be brought to my attention), you would've stumbled upon the Rihanna 'Man Down' video controversy. Interestingly enough, responses to art and the call for responsibility from artists has been a common conversation topic for me. Reactions to Rihanna's video has only fueled the fire, so to speak. Here we have a song essentially about a girl who murders the man who assaulted her.  The video begins with Rihanna committing the oh so controversial act (murder that is), which is very fitting considering the way the song itself unfolds. Later, viewers are confronted with the "reality" that this man, who we see fall to his death in the beginning, essentially raped (rape is implied) the female character played by Rihanna. Of course, the response was immediate and full of calls for Rihanna's responsibility as an artist to the kids who consume her music. What? Rihanna's response, as published by MTV News:

"I'm a 23 year old rock star with NO KIDS! What's up with everybody wantin me to be a parent? I'm just a girl, I can only be your/our voice!" she wrote on Thursday. "Cuz we all know how difficult/embarrassing it is to communicate touchy subject matters to anyone especially our parents! And this is why! ... Cuz we turn the other cheek! U can't hide your kids from society, or they'll never learn how to adapt! This is the REAL WORLD! ... The music industry isn't exactly Parents R Us! We have the freedom to make art, LET US! It's your job to make sure they don't turn out like US."

"The music industry isn't exactly Parents R Us!" She said it and as far as I'm concerned no one should expect the music industry to take on such a role. The reality is as Americans we have total access to this art form. It's everywhere we are: stores, elevators, homes, schools, school buses, etc. As a result, kids and adults alike are all positioned to be influenced by these artists and their bodies of work. This in no way means that creativity should be limited by who may consume the art. If you're looking for music made for kids with nice, pretty responsible messages dedicated to the development of children into responsible and independent adults and positive contributors to society, there are places to go for that. For my generation, it was Barney the big purple dinosaur, Big Bird, Nick Jr., etc. The reality is, Rihanna's music, while it may have been created to send a message to women about their sexual, physical, mental, and emotional safety, wasn't created to lead young kids into responsible adulthood. That is the parent's responsibility. As an artist, Rihanna's impact will never be greater than that child's parent and if the parent feels the image isn't appropriate for their child, then it is the parent's responsibility to limit or restrict access to said image, not Rihanna's.

The conversation of artist responsibility didn't start with Rihanna's video. In fact, just a few days prior, we were told that despite Beyonce's message that girls "Run The World", girls don't actually run the world.

Now, there are a few things I agree with in this video and the speaker acknowledges the fact that "Run The World (Girls)" is just a song and explains that she's using this song as a way to ignite a discussion of feminist issues. I have no problem with anyone using this medium (YouTube) to express their ideas and beliefs. If you're going to discuss the issues, fine, but can you do so without imposing responsibility on the artist? Probably. Much like Rihanna's video, Beyonce is presenting a message to young women, specifically pertaining to the power they do hold despite the lack of acknowledgement by society. In other words, while this song may not be "accurate", it does have a place and has the potential to impact the perceptions of young women as it pertains to what they have the power to do with their skills and talents. Here again, an artist is being held responsible for their consumers. Once again, that is not the artist's job. The artist's job is to create, express, and entertain in whatever way they wish. Their art is not based on us, but on them. (Just for the record, I do know that this statement could incite arguments about the industry and such, but that's not what this blog is about). As an individual who considers herself "creative", the tendency for society to impose this responsibility on artists, I feel, is completely disrespectful to the concept of art itself. Regardless of the medium, art is the product of a creative process that in many ways is steeped in emotion and the ability to manipulate images and ideas. Americans have the great opportunity of being able to experience many different kinds of art and at the moment, we aren't appreciating it.

"Art is art. Everything else is everything else." ~ Ad Reinhardt

Further reading: